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New Orleans Attorney Profiles 2015
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St. John Parish schools consider added security measures as national trend of mass shootings continues

The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board is considering installing electronic fencing and metal detectors at the parish’s two high schools after a knife was found on the newly renovated East St. John High School campus this summer and outsiders were found wandering the open campus. If the initiative is funded, St. John would be… Continue reading →

Former Jefferson School Board secretary who clashed with board president is latest to head to Orleans school system

The Jefferson Parish School Board staff secretary who recently accused the board president of being verbally abusive to her has become the latest of several notable Jefferson school system employees to transfer this year to the Orleans Parish system. Sharon Hunter began working as an assistant to Orleans Parish Superintendent Henderson Lewis Jr. on Sept. 21,… Continue reading →

Alumni gather to salute McDonogh 35’s new building, key to its return to longtime academic excellence

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--McDonogh 35 students Alex Perkins, left, Charron Carmouche, Dandrick Green, Cardiz Humble, and  Armani Mulen talk to Mayor Mitch Landrieu during a dedication of the school's new 2015 campus on Cadillac Drive in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015.

Loyal and influential alumni, many clad in maroon and gold, flooded the new $59.5 million home for McDonogh No. 35 High School on Wednesday. “I could feel the pride in the air when I walked in,” said Dianne Baquet, 65, who graduated with the school’s class of 1969. The state-of-the-art building, located at 4000 Cadillac… Continue reading →

Tulane scientist part of team studying newly found ancient human relative

Fragments of bone are arranged with skeletal parts of Homo naledi, with hundreds of other fossil elements during the announcement of a new human ancestor made in Magaliesburg, South Africa, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015.  Scientists say theyve discovered a new member of the human family tree, revealed by a huge trove of bones in a barely accessible, pitch-dark chamber of a cave in South Africa, showing a surprising mix of human-like and more primitive characteristics. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Tulane University paleoanthropologist Trenton Holliday helped to discover a new species related to humans during a dig that began two years ago in a nearly inaccessible South African cave. The discovery is the cover story of the October issue of National Geographic magazine and made headlines worldwide when it was announced Thursday by the National Geographic… Continue reading →

Tulane University makes big leap in U.S. News' annual list of top universities

Photo provided by Wikimedia Commons -- Tulane University Gibson Hall

Tulane University jumped 13 spots this year in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the nation’s top undergraduate universities. This year’s list, which came out Wednesday, placed Tulane in a tie with five other schools for the No. 41 ranking, up from No. 54 last year. It was the only Louisiana university to crack… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish School Board president questions $7.8 million paid to attorneys who represented board in BP lawsuit

Cedric Floyd

The $7.8 million that the Jefferson Parish School Board paid in attorney’s fees after securing a $32.7 million settlement from BP over 2010 oil spill damage claims has caused the latest disagreement among board members. In a memo to his colleagues Friday, School Board President Cedric Floyd said he wasn’t sure that amount of… Continue reading →

University of Louisiana, Southern University systems settle for tiny fraction of their claims against BP from 2010 oil spill

In this Monday, June 7, 2010 file photo, patches of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill are seen from an underwater vantage, in the Gulf of Mexico, south of Venice, La. Two Louisiana university systems have quietly settled lawsuits filed against BP that sought to recover hundreds of millions of dollars for what the schools said was lost revenue tied to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. (AP Photo/Rich Matthews, File)

They were seeking $274 million. They settled for $500,000. Two Louisiana university systems have quietly settled lawsuits filed against BP that sought to recover hundreds of millions of dollars for what the schools said was lost revenue tied to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. Of their final $500,000 haul, 25 percent will go… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish School Board president denies verbally abusing secretary, says he’s ‘always been respectful’ of her

Cedric Floyd

Jefferson Parish School Board President Cedric Floyd denied Thursday that he recently blew up at the board’s secretary or was ever verbally abusive to her. School Board secretary Sharon Hunter went to the school district’s Human Resources Department last month and filed a grievance against Floyd, who has been accused on several occasions of… Continue reading →

Jefferson Parish School Board president accused of verbally abusing secretary

Cedric Floyd

Cedric Floyd, president of the Jefferson Parish School Board, is facing more questions about his allegedly volatile temper. The latest incident to stir concern apparently began when Floyd decided last month that he wanted his photo taken with the $24.5 million check that BP had just cut the school district to settle oil spill damage claims.… Continue reading →

UNO president establishes $25,000 scholarship, and other news of higher education

University of New Orleans President Peter J. Fos and his wife, Lori, have established a $25,000 scholarship to help support female students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in education at UNO. The Lori A. and Peter J. Fos Endowed Scholarship in Education is designed to support women studying education, with priority given to student-athletes. Beneficiaries will… Continue reading →

Newman School doubles preschool capacity with new $6.5 million facility

Photo provided by Tracie Morris Schaefer -- Pictured from left to right are Ellen Martinez, Assistant Director for Operations at Green Trees; Elizabeth Elizardi, Director of Green Trees; Ann Thompson '74, Chair of Newman's Board of Governors; and Dale M. Smith, Head of School.

After 10 years of planning, Isidore Newman School has opened the doors to a $6.5 million facility dedicated solely to early childhood education. The 19,000-square-foot Green Trees Early Childhood Village was fully enrolled when it opened earlier this month with 155 students, double the capacity of the 33-year-old Greenie House, Newman’s prior early… Continue reading →

St. Tammany looks to its schools in remembering Katrina

Photo provided by St. Tammany Parish Public Schools -- Brock Elementary student Makai Hammond leads guests in the Pledge of Allegiance during the Katrina +10 Remembrance event held at Salmen High School on Friday, August 28, 2015.

The photographs that lined Salmen High School’s cafeteria Friday morning testified to the destructive force of a powerful storm but also to the strength of those who persevered. Images of destruction appeared side by side with those of renewal: pictures of new schools and smiling students, labeled with the words “community,” “pride,” “resilience” and “optimism.”… Continue reading →

Source: UNO president expected to announce plans to step down; unclear whether he's resigning

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Dr. Peter Fos president of the University of New Orleans.

University of New Orleans President Peter Fos is expected to announce next week that he’s stepping down from the helm of the Lakefront school, according to a source in the University of Louisiana System, which oversees the school. Fos’ three-year tenure at UNO has been marked by steep funding cuts and declining enrollment in… Continue reading →

East St. John Elementary students will go back to class Monday for first time since fire damaged campus

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- An early morning fire at East St. John Elementary did extensive damage and canceled classes Friday, August 14, 2015.

East St. John Elementary School students will return to the classroom Monday after missing two weeks of school because of an Aug. 14 fire that badly damaged their campus. The classes will meet at Leon Godchaux Junior High School in nearby Reserve, which hasn’t been used on a permanent basis in years, officials said… Continue reading →

Report: New Orleans public schools see loss of black teachers and those with formal teaching credentials

Public school teachers in New Orleans are considerably more likely to be white, inexperienced, without local roots and lacking formal teaching credentials as a result of the charter school movement that has remade public education in the city since Hurricane Katrina. Those are the conclusions drawn by Tulane University’s Education Research Alliance for New Orleans in… Continue reading →

Family sues Jefferson Parish School Board after teenage son suffers broken jaw, needs surgery as result of 'knockout game' at Bonnabel High

Photo provided by Google Maps -- Alfred Bonnabel Magnet Academy High School

They called it the “knockout game,” and apparently it was simple enough to play: Find an innocent fellow student and punch him once in the face with a set of brass knuckles as he’s walking to class. That’s according to the attorney who filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of Raymundo and Francy Posas and who… Continue reading →

Lake Pontchartrain Elementary in LaPlace set to resume classes Thursday after fire at adjacent school

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Crews clean up a classroom at East St. John Elementary in LaPlace, La. Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015 after a fire early Friday morning.

Students at Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School in LaPlace will return to classes Thursday, less than a week after a serious fire forced the school to close. Meanwhile, officials hope students at the adjacent East St. John Elementary, where the fire actually started, will be back in class no later than Aug. 31 at the vacant… Continue reading →

Different school starting dates, calendars cause confusion and headaches for parents

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- It was the end of summer vacation and the dawn of a new school year as some of the 620 students head to class on the first day of school at Lake Forest Charter School at 12000 Hayne Blvd. in  New Orleans, La. Monday, Aug. 10, 2015. Schools in the metro area have a variety of starting dates.

Valerie McGinley’s 15-year-old son started 10th grade on Monday, but his sister and three stepsiblings could sleep in, riding out the varying lengths of their summer vacations. The first day of classes in New Orleans is anything but traditional for the city’s 46,000 public school students, with 19 different starting dates ranging from July 20 to… Continue reading →

See list of programs facing elimination, cuts at Loyola as school seeks to save millions

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Loyola University in New Orleans. An advisory panel has recommended program cuts to deal with a reduce $10 million from the university's budget.

Loyola University, which went through rounds of buyouts last year to deal with falling enrollment and budget issues, is contemplating eliminating or reducing dozens of programs as part of a restructuring plan aimed at cutting its budget by $10 million over the next five years. The proposal still must be reviewed by the university’s president, the… Continue reading →